Avoid That Bloated Feeling and Feel Better

Almost everyone has experienced what it feels like to be bloated. A lot of people have woken up and just felt bigger than usual. Bloating is when the stomach is extended out more than usual.

This is not always a result of eating a lot of food, but that can be one of the many ways people experience bloating. There are different types of bloating, causing people to look and feel a bit swollen in certain areas of their body. However, we'll be looking at abdominal bloating and highlight some symptoms, causes, and remedies that would help to reduce bloating.

People who are bloating are typically able to feel it or see it. Most of the time, you would notice how the stomach may be lacking it's the normal definition and expands outward a bit. Some more concrete symptoms of bloating include prolonged abdominal pains, flatulence, frequent burping, constipation, reflux, and abdominal rumbling. Some causes of bloating are lactose-intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome and diet. In general, bloating happens when the GI tract (gastrointestinal tract) is filled with gas or air. So, chewing gum, eating or drinking too fast, smoking, and weight gain are common causes that result in that 'full' feeling.

The Four Steps to Reduce and Avoid Bloating

  1. Limit carbonated drinks
  2. Eat slowly/Avoid drinking through a straw
  3. Avoid foods you have an intolerance for
  4. Consume more fiber

The Top Four Steps Explained

Drinking less carbonated drinks such as sodas, energy drinks, and other soft drinks will help reduce bloating. Even some diet drinks are carbonated. These drinks release carbon dioxide gas into the esophagus, sometimes getting trapped in the stomach. You don't have to stop drinking carbonated soft drinks, but it is essential to minimize how often you drink these fizzy beverages.

Much of bloating is a result of unhealthy habits. In our modern day, we all try to find faster ways to get things done because people have jobs to get to, school schedules to follow, etc. These routines can pose serious long-term threats to your health if not too careful. Quite a few people tend to eat their food very fast, swallowing their food in big chunks which makes the digestion process take longer. Eating too fast will result in large particles of food getting stuck in your intestines, resulting in overproduction of gas. Acid reflux and indigestion may also be an effect of eating fast. When we shovel food in our mouths, we are also intaking more air than needed. This is true for using straws as well as you are sucking in excess air with every sip. Although it may be convenient at times, these habits can cost you your well-being.

Everyone's body operates uniquely. Therefore, your body may digest a food differently from another person. It's important to learn what food intolerances you may have and how certain foods make your body react. For instance, some people cannot digest milk or dairy properly which would mean they are lactose-intolerant. Gluten- intolerance or coeliac disease is another common food intolerance. With coeliac disease, the intestine lining can't absorb foods containing gluten. Foods to avoid if you have a sensitivity to gluten include bread, pasta, crackers, and wheat. In the case of gluten-intolerance, eating dairy products is okay. However, if you are lactose-intolerant, it's best to reduce your consumption of milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and cream. You can substitute cow's milk with almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk. Although, it doesn't contain the same amount of protein, feel free to get your protein from another source. Also, to get your recommended intake of calcium, you can incorporate more kale, broccoli, and other lactose-free foods into your diet.

Constipation can not only be a symptom of bloating, but it can also be a cause. If you are bloated and also find that you are also regularly constipated, this may reflect dietary issues. You could possibly be deficient in fiber. Eating oats, chia seeds, lentils, apples, and broccoli are good foods to eat if you deal with constipation. Laxative stimulants can help you have an easier time in the bathroom. Probiotics will also help, which you can find in dark chocolate, kimchi, and yogurt.

Understanding how your body responds to different food groups will allow you to eat less and find healthier alternatives that work better for you. Bloating is a very common health symptom that many people experience when eating foods they aren't supposed to. More serious ailments may present themselves if adjustments aren't made to diet and habits.

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